Tesla’s passionate CEO is back with a second master plan, called Part Deux, 10 years after the first one was released. Elon Musk has some incredible things planned, or at least they sound amazing, including making smarter Tesla models that can drive itself better than you and even make money whenever you’re not using the vehicle. But what’s really exciting is that Tesla is working on self-driving electric trucks and buses for the future. And the Tesla bus already sounds pretty exciting.
Announced on Wednesday, the plan follows Musk’s 2006 similar declaration. Tesla has more or less achieved its initial goals, though it still has plenty of work left. But Tesla added additional objectives to its list, four others, to be precise. Here they are, in short, as listed by Musk:
- Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage
- Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments
- Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning
- Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it
Tesla is working on “heavy-duty trucks and high passenger density urban transport,” which are both in the early stages of development and should be unveiled next year.
Musk shared his vision on how transportation should work in the future. The Tesla Semi will “deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.” The CEO did not reveal more details about such a product, but Tesla is hardly the only company working on self-driving trucks for the future.
The exec did make a case for an exciting Tesla bus of the future, one that’s supposed to solve various problems with public transportation. Musk says that the electric buses of the future should be smaller than the current ones, to decrease traffic congestion. Furthermore, the interior of the buses will be redesigned to increase passenger areal density. The center aisle would be eliminated, and seats would be placed where entryways are. The driver would transition to a role of fleet manager, and the bus would be able to match acceleration and breaking to other vehicles to further improve the traffic flow.
The buses would take passengers all the way to their destination, and would accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, and bikes. Ordering a bus will be done by smartphone, but fixed summon buttons would be placed at stops so that anyone can call one.
That certainly sounds amazing. But let’s not forget that Tesla isn’t the only one reimagining public transportation, and Mercedes-Benz already has a pilot program for a self-driving bus of its own, pictured above.